Web Design for Cannabis Retailers

Web Design for Cannabis Companies

Growers Retail

Launch website

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Previous

Web Design Services

  • Corporate Branding
  • UX (User Experience) Design
  • Information Architecture
  • Responsive Website Design
  • Art Direction & Consulting

Platform

  • Custom WordPress Development
  • eCommerce Integration
  • Custom Website Development
  • Search Engine Optimization

Project Overview

Our Toronto web design company’s first walkabout in the cannabis industry with Ontario-based cannabis retailer, Growers Retail.

Exploring a new industry through custom website design for a cannabis company startup, Growers Retail.

Admittedly, this is our first foray into the Cannabis company website design field. Since legalization in Canada, we’ve had many opportunities land in our inbox, but none felt quite right. With the industry becoming more mainstream and settled in Canada when Growers Retail inquired about custom website design for their cannabis startup, we decided to give it a go.

For the first time in over a decade, our Toronto web design agency faced the challenge of working with an industry that was entirely new to our team. Parachute Design has crafted website design and custom branding since 2003, so an opportunity like this was unique. To add to the mix, Growers Retail was in startup mode, meaning there was no previous website from which we could review and analyze user data to study user trends and prepare our design strategy.

Fortunately, the years of experience under our belts, creating website design for B2C and food and beverage industries helped lay the foundation for the adventure to come.

Experience, paired with our time tested 6-step design process, allowed us to move forward with the cannabis website design project confidently. However, before we kicked it into gear, we first worked with the owners of Growers Retail to identify their goals for the project. From this list of clearly defined goals, we can build and execute our website design strategy and also use it as a measuring stick for success.

Website Design Goals

  • Corporate branding – Growers Retail had already been working with a logo designer before our engagement. Our Toronto branding experts aimed to work with Growers Retail to continue to refine the logo design and expand the branding throughout the business’s digital marketing.
  • Website user interface design – jumping into a highly competitive industry still in its infancy required a responsive website design that could communicate quickly and efficiently with the audience.
  • Custom WordPress development – to allow Growers Retail to complete control over their website and digital marketing engine, we opted for a custom WordPress development.
  • Online Store and POS Software Integration – To quickly jump into online sales and provide seamless POS integration, we worked closely with a third party software developer to get to market fast.
Cannabis Company Web Design

Cannabis Company Web Design Process

Discovery and Strategy

As we kicked off the cannabis web design project for Growers Retail, our first point of discovery was understanding the rules and regulations applicable to the cannabis industry as it is heavily regulated. Fortunately, the Canadian government offers a library of digital resources to download and review to ensure that the marketing material we create for Growers Retail adheres to the guidelines.

With a thorough understanding of the rules and regulations in place for this brand new industry in Canada, we set forth with our discovery reviewing top competitors in the market and compiling screenshots and any analytics data to create a mood board for reference throughout our strategy and design phases to follow.

Research complete, our Toronto web designers set to work on creating the site map for the website. During site mapping, we outline all pages that will exist on the new website and where they will live in the navigation design.

Following the approval of the site map, our web design team and Toronto WordPress developers began work on the wireframes design. The wireframing exercise is one of the most critical aspects of the website design process. Wireframes serve as a blueprint for the creative work to follow but are an essential tool used to establish the information architecture design within the website. The wireframes are void of all design elements, colour and imagery to allow everyone to focus on the fundamental aspects and user journey or goals within each unique page layout. Without the distraction of design, our clients can more easily focus on the essential elements of the wireframing process and make informed decisions on the direction of and makeup of their new website. Additionally, as we address changes during wireframing quickly and easily, we often eliminate the need for excessive design changes later on in the design process.

The wireframes are presented to stakeholders using an online prototyping tool that allows all participants to log in and leave feedback, ask questions or mark up the layouts for discussion. This tool ensures a smooth workflow for our Toronto web design company and keeps communication and feedback stored in one place for all parties to reference. As our designers work through any changes and answer questions, our clients are notified by automated email updates to stay loop with our progress.

Cannabis Company Website Design

Custom Web Design for the Cannabis Industry

Throughout our discovery of the cannabis space, we collected several screenshots and design samples from top competitors and similar websites to help guide our web design process and ensure we help our clients go to market with a competitive online presence. In addition to this early research, our web designers also relied heavily on their extensive experience creating web design for the food and beverage industry to assist with our initial user interface design concept.

Utilizing a clean and airy approach to the UI design, we shared the initial conceptual design work with the team at Growers Retail using our online prototyping platform once again. One of the advantages we offer our clients by using this platform is that they can view both desktop and mobile design concepts in context. Rather than making assumptions or critical design decisions based on static images or PDF documents, stakeholders can interact with the web design as if it were a functioning website.

Following a speedy review session and minimal revisions, we received approval to move ahead with the full design expansion and mobile web design layouts.

Our WordPress web developers are actively involved in our web design process and assist with decision making at this intermediate stage. This teamwork ensures our creative and development teams are in sync on projects and that we are presenting our clients with the most functional design options.

Cannabis Company Web Design

Order and Pickup On-the-Go

WordPress Website Development

To ensure that our client could manage their website efficiently and with limited technical expertise, we opted for a custom WordPress website. The team at Growers Retail will be publishing resources and cannabis education information to the website regularly. With limited website management experience and little technical knowledge, our web developers paid careful attention to the configuration and setup of the backend CMS to ensure the publication of this content is smooth and straightforward for all team members.

Website Design for Growers Retail Cannabis
Responsive Web Design for Cannabis Companies Mobile Website Design for Cannabis Companies

Getting to market with online sales quickly and on a startup budget was paramount for Growers Retail. To achieve a quick and lean deployment, we worked closely with a third-party SaaS provider to incorporate their POS software directly into the website to manage inventory and online sales. The integration works seamlessly with the in-store computer system to ensure orders are tracked, prepared and handled efficiently.

Website Deployment

Partnering with a managed WordPress hosting platform offers many benefits, including the latest speed and performance optimizations to make WordPress run at its peak, along with automated security and backup services. During the deployment phase of our project, the one-click staging environment is incredibly useful to stage the beta website for final pre-launch testing. We strongly urge our clients to follow this soft-launch approach to ensure the new website has at least 48 hours to settle into its new home before releasing updates to the public. This staged approach allows stakeholders to review and iron out any final wrinkles related to the migration of the website away from the public eye.

When approved for launch, with the click of a button, the website deployed to the production environment and Growers Retail is officially open for business.

Web Design for Cannabis Retailers

CMS Training and SEO Best Practices

Following the excitement of the website launch, we schedule a screencast CMS demo with all website administration staff to review the custom WordPress CMS, new content management tools and review best practices for content management and search engine optimization. This post-launch training ensures our clients are educated, prepared and ready to compete right out of the gate.

For safekeeping, we make the recorded training session available for download so that future website administrators can review the training content and get up to speed with the tools, configuration and daily management of the website.

About Parachute Design

Parachute Design has been a leading website design company in Toronto since 2003. Our web designers and WordPress developers have more than 80 years of collective experience creating custom websites built on WordPress.

To learn more about our capabilities or request an estimate for your business, please complete our proposal planner or contact our Toronto web design agency at 416-901-8633.

Let’s make something.

Navigating website design for the cannabis industry in Canada requires thorough research and an understanding of the marketing rules and regulations within the industry. Contact us to see how we can help your business grow.

Start A Project
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Let’s make something.

Navigating website design for the cannabis industry in Canada requires thorough research and an understanding of the marketing rules and regulations within the industry. Contact us to see how we can help your business grow.

Start A Project